A content solution at the midnight hour

Financial services wants it smart. And it wants it fast.

BY Jim Shadid
Imagination Contributor

Don't let speed be the enemy of strategy.

That's the key lesson in the first infocomic adventure of Calvin Content, a character for the age of content marketing. Follow along as he discovers that even in the rapid-fire world of financial services marketing, a little strategic thinking goes a long way toward success.

A Content Solution at the Midnight Hour: Financial services wants it smart. And it wants it fast.

written by James Shadid, art by Matthew Sargent

Un-huh... sure thing... I'll put my top guy on it.

It was late, even for me, Calvin Content. Thought it'd be quiet in the office. Didn't expect the boss to be around- and she sounded stressed.

Right on time. Here's the rap: financial services is lookin' for content. They want it smart. And they want it fast.

Smart and fast... buzzwords that sounded nice on their own. But when put together, they made me itch. In the middle of the night? Why the rush?

The young people are makin' moves. And our client has some tools to help 'em. They wanna talk to 'em and I want you to make the how-do-youd-dos.

That all sounds real sick, boss. Part of me wanted to disappear, say see ya tomorrow and shut the door behind me. But, I couldn;t cut out. I never ditch a deadline. And she knew it.

Besides, I could use a good scratch.

I'd seen it too many times. The client wants content, words and pictures for a new audience. No problem. But they didn't mention strategy. And these young people... they didn't wanna be talked at. They wanted a conversation.

The client didn't have a hand to play becuase they didn't know the game. But they had a reputation to maintain. And frankly, so did I. I wasn't about to let 'em just put up post-its, hopin' to be found, hopin' to be liked.

No, it was time to pump the brakes. Piece it together. Not just the words, but leads, engagement and ROI. It was about the why and the how. The story of brand, baby.

This meant makin' some stops, talkin' to insiders. Time to meet the local smes.

And while the social avenues were shiny and bright, it was easy to get lost. Just you two. We don't wanna get carried away. The trick was to plant some seeds and let the word spread itself, Fast.

Me! Me! Let's share! They all need to know! Use me! Use me! I know everyone!

On the job again. But I think I'll pass on the paper tonight. You got any blog space?

Course I do. It's a best-seller. After all, you can use it for more than just words.

Bright kid.

Hey there. Waatcha lookin' for? I got lines on all the top channels.

I just need the right mix with a steady strategy. B2b markerters are more likely to increase podcasting activity in 2017 than b2c marketers. I'd like to tell her that more doesn't mean better. But she was too busy hearin' to listen.

What's takin' so long! I thought I said fast! and smart! Not fancy or late!

No not fancy, boss. But not spoon-fed either. Relax. A quick test and we'll be in business. When it came to user testing, I went right to the source.

More of a hurry than normal tonight, eh?

You got it, Time's time. The skinny is that you're thinkin' of gettin' a business off the ground. This true?

Actually running some numbers right now. What's up?

Any of these speak to you?

I'm into all of this. Stats are a big plus. But straight up, I want the full story. Unless you got a real person behind the voice, I ain't interested.

Sounded like a blog/infographic strategy starring brand experts and real people. some social support to fill in the gaps. And when it came to the real-deal voice...

I'd like to introduce you to someone...

There she was, sitting right in front of me. Peer-to-peer. Nothin' truer. I felt good about the night's work. It was smart. It was fast. Thoughtleadership for financial services: done.

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published: March 08, 2019